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Full text of "Stratford-upon-Avon; from "The sketch book" of Washington Irving"

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University of California Berkeley 

Gift of 
English Dept. Library 

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The Illustrations and Notes used in this 
volume are copyright. 

TO -, ( , 










The Notes made by Captain James Saunders on the 
Stratford portion of Irving s Sketch Book are pre- 
served in a manuscript volume at Shakespeare's 
Birthplace ; they are beautifully written and 
illustrated with sketches, many of which are 
reprodttced in the follounng pages. By kind 
permission of the Trustees and Guardians of 
Shakespeare's Birthplace the whole of these Notes and 
some by Robert Bell Wheler are here reproduced, 
with Saunders' illustrations copied in pen and ink 
by Mr. W. W. Quatremaine. 

The present issue is the only edition ever published in 
Stratford-upon-Avon ; it is printed in the house in 
which Shakespeare's daughter, Judith, and her hits- 
band, Thomas Quiney, lived for 36 years, and within 
a few paces of the room in which the admirable 
" Sketch " first presented itself to Irving' s mind. 

A short account of the life of Washington 
Irving, and especially of his visits to Stratford- 
upon-Avon and neighbourhood, may add interest 
to this reissue of a portion of the "Sketch Book," 
and also take the place of a preface. In " The 
Author's Account of Himself," he abstained 
from allusions to his parentage and family rela- 
tions, consequently it cannot be out of place 
to supply some details which in his modesty he 

His father, William Irving, of Shapinsha, in 
the Orkney Islands, served during the French 
War (i8th century), as a petty officer on board 
an English armed packet, plying between 
Falmouth and New York. His mother was 
Sarah, the only child of John and Anne Sanders, 
of Falmouth. 


William Irving and Anne Sanders were 
married at Falmouth on the nth of May, 
1761, and two years later emigrated to America, 
arriving at New York on the i8th July, 1763. 
After various wanderings they at last settled in 
a house No. 121, William Street, New York 
where Washington Irving was born on 3rd 
April, 1783. He was the eighth son, and the 
youngest of eleven children. His baptism took 
place at the Chapel of St. George, Beekman 
Street, New York, and he received his baptismal 
name owing to a remark made by his mother 
that " Washington's work is ended, and the child 
shall be called after him." 

At the age of sixteen Irving left school and 
entered the office of a solicitor, continuing the 
study of the law until he attained his majority, 
when, owing to the delicate state of his health, 
his two brothers decided to send him to Europe : 
he started on his travels on the i9th of May, 


After a pleasant ramble through Italy, Swit- 
zerland, and France, we find him in New York 
on the iyth January, 1806. On the 25th May, 
1815, he once more left his native shore for 
Liverpool, arriving just as tidings of the battle 
of Waterloo had reached this country. He 
spent a week there with his brother Peter, and 
then left for Springfield, Birmingham, "the 
redoubtable castle of Van Tromp," as he 
playfully styles the residence of his brother-in- 
law Henry Van Wart, a house "'most delightfully 
situated in the vicinity of the town."* From 
Birmingham he went, for a few days, to London, 
returning to his " English home " the domestic 
circle, at Birmingham and from thence made 

* "Springfield," Icknield Street West (formerly Lady- 
wood Lane), was demolished many years ago. It was 
sold in 1818 by Van Wart to Mr. G. Barker, the family 
then removing to "Camden Hill," a house still standing, 
and now enclosed within the works at the corner of 
Frederick Street and Legge Lane, Newhall Hill, 
surrounded by streets and houses, but it then overlooked 
almost rural scenes. 


his first visit to Kenilworth, Warwick, and 
Stratford-upon-Avon, with his friend James 

At the latter place they entered their names 
in the Church Album, f under date 25th July, 
1815. To this visit, undoubtedly, we owe the 
production of the Stratford-upon-Avon Sketch, 
which has been so aptly described as " perhaps 
the best bit of Shakespeareana ever penned." 

In January, 1817, we again find Irving at 
Birmingham, where he remained nearly two 
months, and, "in spite of hard times," enjoying 
himself in the companionship of " The famous 
troop of Van Tromps." 

He had previously joined his brother Peter 
in what proved to be an unsuccessful business 
undertaking at Liverpool. Soon after his return 
to that town from his Birmingham visit he 

t The Church Albums from June, 1804, to September, 
1 86 1, are preserved in the Library at Shakespeare's 


received the melancholy tidings of his mother's 
death, which took place on the 9th of April. 
No wonder then at his writing on the 28th 
January, 1818, that "for upwards of two years 
I have been bowed down in spirit, and harassed 
by the most sordid cares." 

The following June, however, found the 
brothers free from their business difficulties, the 
Lord Chancellor having allowed their certificates ; 
and, on the 2ist of that month, Irving once more 
left Liverpool for the Midlands, where he always 
found a sympathetic friend and adviser in his 
brother-in-law, to whose friendly counsel the 
world is no doubt indebted for the " Sketch 
Book," particularly the Stratford-upon-Avon and 
Charlecote portion of the work. 

It was Henry Van Wart who urged Irving to 
follow his natural inclination for authorship, 
knowing that the peculiar pastoral beauty of the 
Midland scenery, and the simple manners of 
the people in the rural districts, had a strong 


attraction for the young American, to whom 
everything picturesque or romantic was fascinat- 
ing. Irving possessed the faculty of presenting 
common-place details in an interesting manner, 
and with such dry humour, that his sketches 
are ever fresh and delightful expressions of a 
pure and cultivated nature. They have more- 
over the additional merit of being truthful 
pictures of the times of which he wrote. 

On the 28th June, 1820, Irving transmitted 
to his brother, Ebenezer, the sheets for the 
seventh number of the "Sketch Book," including 
Westminster Abbey, Stratford-upon-Avon, Little 
Britain, and the Angler. This was published 
1 3th September, 1820, and terminated the 
American series. 

Writing to his brother from London on the 
i5th August, 1820, he says : " The ' Sketch 
Book ' has been very successful in England. 
The first volume is out of print. . . . The 
second volume, of which thousands were printed, 


is going off briskly, and Murray proposes 
putting to press immediately a uniform edition 
of the two volumes at his own expense. I have 
offered, however, to dispose of the work to him 
entirely, and am to know his answer to-morrow." 
Murray bought the copyright for ^200. 

Charles R. Leslie, a Philadelphian artist, has 
given an interesting account of Irving's second 
visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, on which occasion 
he accompanied his friend. They strolled about 
Charlecote Park, and other places in the neigh- 
bourhood, and while Leslie was sketching, 
Irving mounted on a stile, or seated on a stone, 
was busily engaged in writing "The Stout 
Gentleman." He wrote with the greatest 
rapidity, often laughing to himself, and from 
time to time reading the manuscript to his 

From the Church Album it appears they 
visited Shakespeare's grave on the zoth Sep- 
tember, 1821, deferring their visit to the 


Birthplace until October, when Irving wrote the 
following lines in the Birthroom ; the original 
MS. was presented to the Museum by Sam: 
Timmins, Esq., F.S.A., in 1869. 

. " Great Shakespeare's b 

| The house of Shakespeare's birth we here may see 
(^ That of his death we find without a trace 
Vain the inquiry, for Immortal he 


Of mighty Shakspeare's birth the room we see, .Jj 

That where he died in vain to find we try ; J? 

Useless the search : for all Immortal He 

- <i 

And those who are Immortal never die. ^ 

W.I. second visit, - 


Irving's third and last visit to the town was in 
December, 1831, in company with the American 
Minister, Martin Van Buren, and his son, 
}. Van Buren. It is recorded in the Church 
Album, under date, 2oth December, 1831, and 
their conductor was the grandson of the "old 
sexton" of the "Sketch Book," Mr. Thomas Kite, 
who had then succeeded his grandfather in the 


office of Parish Clerk.* Irving describes the 
visit in a letter to his sister, Mrs. Paris, 
dated from Newstead Abbey, January 2oth, 
1832, thus : "Upwards of a month since 
I left London with Mr. Van Buren and 
his son on a tour to show them some 
interesting places in the interior, and to give 
them an idea of English country life, and 
the festivities of an old-fashioned English 
Christmas. We posted in an open carriage as 
the weather was uncommonly mild and beautiful 
for the season. Our first stopping place was 
Oxford. . . . thence we went to Blenheim. 
We next passed a night and part of the next 
day at Stratford- on -Avon, visiting the house 
where Shakespeare was born, and the Church 
where he lies buried. We were quartered at 

* Mr. Kite passed away on the 27th of December last 
(1899), in the 9 1st year of his age. Interesting reminis- 
cences of Washington Irving's visit were often related by 
him with pride and delight to his friends ; he always 
referred to Irving as "a perfect gentleman." 


the little inn of the Red Horse, where I found 
the same obliging little landlady that kept it at 
the time of the visit recorded in the 'Sketch 
Book.' You cannot imagine what a fuss the 
little woman made when she found out who I 
was. She showed me the room I had occupied, 
in which she had hung up my engraved likeness, 
and she produced a poker, which was locked up 
in the archives of her house, on which she had 
caused to be engraved ' Geoffrey Crayon's 
Sceptre.' From Stratford we went to Warwick 
Castle, Kenilworth, and then to Birmingham, 
where we passed a part of three days, dining 
at Van Wart's." 

At Newstead Abbey Irving remained a fort- 
night, .and soon afterwards paid a flying visit to 
Birmingham. On May 2ist, 1832, he arrived 
in New York, after a passage of forty days. 
This return was made the occasion for great 
excitement, insomuch that he subsequently 
wrote to his brother Peter, "I have been topsy- 


turvey ever since." In 1835 ne realised a long 
cherished wish by the purchase of "Sunnyside," 
a country house pleasantly situated near the 
Hudson River, and the scenes of his early 
rambles and later stories. 

Irving's appointment in 1841 to be Minister 
Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid, though 
a deeply appreciated honour, proved a severe 
trial, since it obliged him to leave " dear little 
Sunnyside, and all the broad acres there." 
On his way to Spain he visited England, 
and, during the month of May, spent some 
time with his sister, Mrs. Van Wart, at "The 
Shrubbery," Birmingham. He reached Madrid 
towards the end of July, and it was not until 
three years later (August, 1844), that he again 
visited the Van Warts. In the autumn of 1845 
he paid a visit to Paris, and while there resolved 
to resign his office, but, writing on the 29th 
December from that city, he appears to have 
made up his mind to see his friends in 


Birmingham once more before returning to 

Madrid to await the arrival of his successor. 

Early in September, 1846, he bade adieu for 
ever to Europe and his English friends, and, 
after an absence of four and a half years, 
returned to "Sunnyside," where he happily spent 
the remainder of his days. He passed away on 
the 28th November, 1859, in the yyth year of his 
pure and blameless life. Of him and his work, 
the poet Campbell truthfully remarked : 
"Washington Irving has added clarity to the 
English tongue." 


Gbe Sketch Boofc. 


" I am of this mind with Homer, that as the snaile that 
crept out of her shel was turned eftsoons into a toad, and 
thereby was forced to make a stoole to sit on ; so the 
traveller that stragleth from his owne country is in a short 
time transformed into so monstrous a shape, that he is 
faine to alter his mansion with his manners, and to live 
where he can, not where he would." LYLY'S EUPHUES. 

WAS always fond of visiting new scenes, 
and observing strange characters and 
manners. Even when a mere child I 
began my travels, and made many tours of dis- 
covery into foreign parts and unknown regions 
of my native city, to the frequent alarm of my 
parents, and the emolument of the town-crier. 


As I grew into boyhood, I extended the range 
of my observations. My holiday afternoons 
were spent in rambles about the surrounding 
country. I made myself familiar with all its 
places famous in history or fable. I knew every 
spot where a murder or robbery had been 
committed, or a ghost seen. I visited the 
neighbouring villages, and added greatly to my 
stock of knowledge, by noting their habits and 
customs, and conversing with their sages and 
great men. I even journeyed one long 
summer's day to the summit of the most distant 
hill, from whence I stretched my eye over many 
a mile of terra incognita, and was astonished to 
find how vast a globe I inhabited. 

This rambling propensity strengthened with 
my years. Books of voyages and travels became 
my passion, and in devouring their contents, I 
neglected the regular exercises of the school. 
How wistfully would I wander about the pier- 
heads in fine weather, and watch the parting 


ships bound to distant climes; with what 
longing eyes would I gaze after their lessening 
sails, and waft myself in imagination to the 
ends of the earth ! : '^-' 

Farther reading and thinking, though they 
brought this vague inclination into more reason- 
able bounds, only served to make it more 
decided. I visited various parts of my own 
country : and had I been merely influenced by a 
love of fine scenery, I should have felt little desire 
to seek elsewhere its gratification; for on no 
country have the charms of Nature been more 
prodigally lavished. Her mighty lakes, like 
oceans of liquid silver ; her mountains, with their 
bright aerial tints; her valleys, teeming with wild 
fertility; her tremendous cataracts, thundering 
in their solitudes; her boundless plains, waving 
with spontaneous verdure ; her broad deep rivers, 
rolling in solemn silence to the ocean ; her 
trackless forests, where vegetation puts forth all 
its magnificence ; her skies, kindling with the 


magic of summer clouds and glorious sunshine: 
no, never need an American look beyond his 
own country for the sublime and beautiful of 
natural scenery. 

But Europe held forth all the charms of storied 
and poetical association There were to be 
seen the masterpieces of art, the refinements of 
highly cultivated society, the quaint peculiarities 
of ancient and local custom. My native 
country was full of youthful promise ; Europe 
was rich in the accumulated treasures of age. 
Her very ruins told the history of times gone 
by, and every mouldering stone was a chronicle. 
I longed to wander over the scenes of renowned 
achievement to tread, as it were, in the foot- 
steps of antiquity to loiter about the ruined 
castle to meditate on the falling tower to 
escape, in short, from the common-place realities 
of the present, and lose myself among the 
shadowy grandeurs of the past. 

I had, besides all this, an earnest desire to see 


the great men of the earth. We have, it is true, 
our great men in America : not a city but has 
an ample share of them. I have mingled 
among them in my time, and been almost 
withered by the shade into which they cast me ; 
for there is nothing so baleful to a small man 
as the shade of a great one, particularly the 
great man of a city. But I was anxious to 
see the great men of Europe ; for I had read 
in the works of various philosophers, that all 
animals degenerated in America, and man 
among the number. A great man of Europe, 
thought I, must, therefore, be as superior to a 
great man of America as a peak of the Alps 
to a highland of the Hudson ; and in this idea 
I was confirmed, by observing the comparative 
importance and swelling magnitude of many 
English travellers among us, who, I was assured, 
were very little people in their own country. 
I will visit this land of wonders, thought I, and see 
the gigantic race from which I am degenerated. 


It has been either my good or evil lot to have 
my roving passion gratified. I have wandered 
through different countries, and witnessed many 
of the shifting scenes of life. I cannot say that 
I have studied them with the eye of the phil- 
osopher, but rather with the sauntering gaze 
with which humble lovers of the picturesque 
stroll from the window of one print shop to 
another ; caught sometimes by the delineations 
of beauty, sometimes by the distortions of 
caricature, and sometimes by the loveliness of 
landscape. As it is the fashion for modern 
tourists to travel pencil in hand, and bring home 
their portfolios filled with, sketches, I am 
disposed to get up a few for the entertainment 
of my friends. When, however, I look over 
the hints and memorandums I have taken down 
for the purpose, my heart almost fails me at 
finding how my idle humour has led me aside 
from the great objects studied by every regular 
traveller who would make a book. I fear I 


shall give equal disappointment with an 
unlucky landscape painter, who had travelled 
on the Continent, but, following the bent of his 
vagrant inclination, had sketched in nooks, and 
corners, and by-places. His sketch book was 
accordingly crowded with cottages, and land- 
scapes, and obscure ruins; but he had neglected 
to paint St. Peter's, or the Coliseum; the cascade 
of Terni, or the Bay of Naples ; and had not a 
single glacier or volcano in his whole collection. 




Thou soft-flowing Avon, by thy silver stream 
Of thingsmore than mortal sweet Shakespeare would dream ; 
The fairies by moonlight dance round his green bed, 
For hallowed the turf is which pillowed his head. 


O a homeless man, who has no 
spot on this wide world which 
he can truly call his own, there 
is a momentary feeling of some- 


thing like independence and territorial conse- 
quence, when, after a weary day's travel, he kicks 
off his boots, thrusts his feet into slippers, and 
stretches himself before an inn fire. Let the 
world without go as it may ; let kingdoms rise 
or fall, so long as he has the wherewithal to pay 
his bill, he is, for the time being, the very 
monarch of all he surveys. The arm-chair is his 
throne (1) the poker his sceptre, and the little 


parlour, of some twelve feet square, his undis- 
puted empire. It is a morsel of certainty, 
snatched from the midst of the uncertainties 
of life ; it is a sunny moment gleaming out 
kindly on a cloudy day ; and he who has 
advanced some way on the pilgrimage of 
existence, knows the importance of husband- 
ing even morsels and moments of enjoyment. 
"Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn?" 


thought I, as I gave the fire a stir, lolled back 
in my elbow-chair, and cast a complacent look 
about the little parlour of the Red Horse, at 
Stratford-upon-Avon. (2) 


The words of sweet Shakespeare were just 
passing through my mind as the clock struck 


midnight from the tower of the church in which 
he lies buried. (3) There was a gentle tap at the 
door, and a pretty chambermaid, putting in her 
smiling face, inquired, with a hesitating air, 
whether I had rung. (4) I understood it as a 
modest hint that it was time to retire. My 
dream of absolute dominion was at an end ; so 
abdicating my throne, like a prudent potentate, 
to avoid being deposed, and putting the Stratford 
Guide Book under my arm, as a pillow com- 
panion, I went to bed, and dreamt all night of 
Shakespeare, the Jubilee, and David Garrick. 

The next morning was one of those quickening 
mornings which we sometimes have in early 
spring ; for it was about the middle of March. 
The chills of a long winter had suddenly given 
way ; the north wind had spent its last gasp ; 
and a mild air came stealing from the west, 
breathing the breath of life into nature, and 
wooing every bud and flower to burst forth 
into fragrance and beauty. 


I had come to Stratford on a poetical pilgrim- 
age. My first visit was to the house where 
Shakespeare was born, and where, according to 
tradition, he was brought up to his father's craft 
of wool-combing. (5) It is a small mean-looking 
edifice of wood and plaster, a true nestling-place 
of genius, which seems to delight in hatching its 
offspring in by-corners. The walls of its squalid 
chambers are covered with names and inscrip- 
tions in every language, by pilgrims of all 
nations, ranks, and conditions, from the prince 
to the peasant ; and present a simple, but 
striking instance of the spontaneous and 
universal homage of mankind to the great poet 
of nature. (6) 

The house is shown by a garrulous old lady (7) 
in a frosty red face, lighted up by a cold blue 
anxious eye, and garnished with artificial locks 
of flaxen hair, curling from under an exceedingly 
dirty cap. She was peculiarly assiduous in 
exhibiting the relics with which this, like all 



other celebrated shrines, abounds. There was 
the shattered stock of the very matchlock with 
which Shakespeare shot the deer, on his poaching 



exploits. There, too, was his tobacco-box ; 
which proves that he was a rival smoker of Sir 
Walter Raleigh ; the sword also with which he 


played Hamlet ; and the identical lantern with 
which Friar Laurence discovered Romeo and 



Juliet at the tomb ! There was an ample 
supply also of Shakespeare's mulberry-tree, which 
seems to have as extraordinary powers of self- 
multiplication as the wood of the true Cross; 
of which there is enough extant to build a 
ship of the line. 

The most favourite object of curiosity, 
however, is Shakespeare's chair. It stands in the 



chimney nook of a small gloomy chamber, just 
behind what was his father's shop. (8) Here he 

may many a time have sat when a boy, watching 
the slowly revolving spit with all the longing of 
an urchin ; or of an evening, listening to the 
cronies and gossips of Stratford, dealing forth 
churchyard tales and legendary anecdotes of 
the troublesome times of England. In this 
chair it is the custom of every one that visits 
the house to sit : whether this be done with the 


hope of imbibing any of the inspiration of the 
bard I am at a loss to say, I merely mention 
the fact ; and mine hostess privately assured me, 
that, though built of solid oak, such was the 
fervent zeal of devotees, that the chair had to 
be new bottomed at least once in three years. 
It is worthy of notice also, in the history of this 
extraordinary chair, that it partakes something 
of the volatile nature of the Santa Casa of 
Loretto, or the flying chair of the Arabian 
enchanter; for though sold some few years since 
to a northern princess, yet, strange to tell, it has 
found its way back again to the old chimney 

I am always of easy faith in such matters, 
and am ever willing to be deceived, where the 
deceit is pleasant and costs nothing. I am 
therefore a ready believer in relics, legends, and 
local anecdotes of goblins and great men ; and 
would advise all travellers who travel for their 
gratification to be the same. What is it to us, 

VvW&to , Vr^^^^^ *^!r' i a ^---fl''' ---ryi ' i'i 


whether these stories be true or false, so long as 
we can persuade ourselves into the belief of 
them, and enjoy all the charm of the reality ? 
There is nothing like resolute good-humoured 
credulity in these matters ; and on this occasion 
I went even so far as willingly to believe the 
claims of mine hostess to a lineal descent from 
the poet, when, unluckily for my faith, she put 
into my hands a play of her own composition (9) 
which set all belief in her consanguinity at 

From the birthplace of Shakespeare a few 
paces (10) brought me to his grave. He lies buried 
in the chancel of the parish church, a large and 
venerable pile, mouldering with age, but richly 
ornamented. It stands on the banks of the 
Avon, on an embowered point, and separated 
by adjoining gardens from the suburbs of the 
town. Its situation is quiet and retired : the 
river runs murmuring at the foot of the church- 
yard, and the elms which grow upon its banks 


droop their branches into its clear bosom. An 
avenue of limes, the boughs of which are 
curiously interlaced, so as to form in summer 



an arched way of foliage, leads up from the gate 
of the yard to the church porch. The graves 
are overgrown with grass ; the gray tombstones, 
some of them nearly sunk into the earth, are 
half covered with moss, which has likewise 


tinted the reverend old building. Small birds 
have built their nests among the cornices and 
fissures of the walls, and keep up a continual 


flutter and chirping ; and rooks are sailing and 

cawing about its lofty gray spire.' 11 ' 

In the course of my rambles I met with the 
gray - headed sexton (12) and accompanied him 
home to get the key of the church. He had 
lived in Stratford, man and boy, for eighty years, 
and seemed still to consider himself a vigorous 
man, with the trivial exception that he had 
nearly lost the use of his legs for a few years 
past. His dwelling was a cottage, looking out 
upon the Avon and its bordering meadows; and 
was a picture of that neatness, order, and 
comfort, which pervade the humblest dwellings 
in this country. A low whitewashed room, with 
a stone floor carefully scrubbed, served for 
parlour, kitchen, and hall. Rows cf pewter 
and earthen dishes glittered along the dresser. 
On an old oaken table, well rubbed and 
polished, lay the family Bible and Prayer-book, 
and the drawer contained the family library, 
composed of about half a score of well-thumbed 


volumes. An ancient clock (131 that important 
article of cottage furniture, ticked on the 
opposite side of the room ; with a bright 
warming-pan hanging on one side of it, and the 
old man's horn-handled Sunday cane on the 
other.' 141 The fire-place, as usual, was wide and 
deep enough to admit a gossip knot within its 
jambs. In one corner sat the old man's grand- 
daughter sewing, a pretty blue-eyed girl, and 
in the opposite corner was a superannuated 
crony, whom he addressed by the name of John 
Ainge <15) and who, I found, had been his com- 
panion from childhood. They had played 
together in infancy ; they had worked together 
in manhood ; they were now tottering about 
and gossiping away the evening of life ; and in a 
short time they will probably be buried together 
in the neighbouring churchyard. It is not often 
that we see two streams of existence running 
thus evenly and tranquilly side by side; it is 
only in such quiet " bosom scenes " of life that 


they are to be met with. 

I had hoped to gather some traditionary 
anecdotes of the bard from these ancient chron- 
iclers ; but they had nothing new to impart. 
The long interval during which Shakespeare's 
writings lay in comparative neglect has spread 
its shadow over his history ; and it is his good 
or evil lot that scarcely anything remains to his 
biographers but a scanty handful of conjectures. 

The sexton and his companion had been em- 
ployed as carpenters on the preparations for 
the celebrated Stratford jubilee (16) and they 



remembered Garrick, the prime mover of the 
fete, who superintended the arrangements, and 
who, according to the sexton, was " a short 
punch man, very lively and bustling." John 
Ainge had assisted also in cutting down Shake- 
speare's mulberry-tree, of which he had a morsel 
in his pocket for sale ; no doubt a sovereign 
quickener of literary conception. 

I was grieved to hear these two worthy wights 
speak very dubiously of the eloquent dame who 
shows the Shakespeare house. John Ainge shook 
his head when I mentioned her valuable and 
inexhaustible collection of relics, particularly 
her remains of the mulberry-tree ; and the old 
sexton even expressed a doubt as to Shakespeare 
having been born in her house. (17) I soon dis- 
covered that he looked upon her mansion with 
an evil eye, as a rival to the poet's tomb ; the 
latter having comparatively but few visitors. 
Thus it is that historians differ at the very 
outset, and mere pebbles make the stream of 


truth diverge into different channels even at the 

fountain head. 

We approached the church through the 
avenue of limes, and entered by a gothic porch, 


highly ornamented, with carved doors of massive 
oak. (18) The interior is spacious, and the archi- 
tecture and embellishments superior to those of 
most country churches. There are several 
ancient monuments of nobility and gentry, over 


some of which hang funeral escutcheons, and 
banners dropping piecemeal from the walls. (19) 
The tomb of Shakespeare is in the chancel. 
The place is solemn and sepulchral. Tall elms 
wave before the pointed windows, and the 
Avon, which runs at a short distance from the 
walls, keeps up a low perpetual murmur. A flat 
stone marks the spot where the bard is buried. 
There are four lines inscribed on it, said to 
have been written by himself, and which have 
in them something extremely awful. (20) If they 
are indeed his own, they show that solicitude 
about the quiet of the grave, which seems 
natural to fine sensibilities and thoughtful 
minds : 

Good frend for lesvs sake forbeare, 
To digg the dvst encloased heare : 
Bleste be ye man yt spares thes stones, 
And cvrst be he yt moves my bones. 

Just over the grave, in a niche of the wall, is 
a bust of Shakespeare, put up shortly after his 
death, and considered as a resemblance.' 21 ' The 


aspect is pleasant and serene, with a finely 
arched forehead ; and I thought I could read in 
it clear indications of that cheerful, social 
disposition, by which he was as much charac- 
terized among his contemporaries as by the 
vastness of his genius. The inscription mentions 
his age at the time of his decease fifty-three 
years ; an untimely death for the world : for 
what fruit might not have been expected from 
the golden autumn of such a mind, sheltered as 
it was from the stormy vicissitudes of life, and 
flourishing in the sunshine of popular and royal 

The inscription on the tombstone has not 
been without its effect. It has prevented the 
removal of his remains from the bosom of his 
native place to Westminster Abbey, which was 
at one time contemplated. A few years since 
also, as some labourers were digging to make an 
adjoining vault, the earth caved in, so as to 
leave a vacant space almost like an arch, 


through which one might have reached into his 
grave. No one, however, presumed to meddle 
with his remains, so awfully guarded by a 
malediction ; and lest any of the idle or the 



curious, or any collector of relics, should be 
tempted to commit depredations, the old sexton 
kept watch over the place ^for two days, until 
the vault was finished, and the aperture closed 
again. (22) He told me that he had made bold to 
look in at the hole, but could see neither coffin 
nor bones; nothing but dust. It was something, 
I thought, to have seen the dust of Shakespeare. 

Next to this grave are those of his wife, his 
favourite daughter Mrs. Hall, and others of his 
family. On a tomb close by, also, is a full 
length effigy of his old friend John Combe, of 
usurious memory ; on whom he is said to have 
written a ludicrous epitaph. There are other 
monuments around, but the mind refuses to 
dwell on anything that is not connected with 
Shakespeare. His idea pervades the place : the 
whole pile seems but as his mausoleum. The 
feelings, no longer checked and thwarted by 
doubt, here indulge in perfect confidence : other 
traces of him may be false or dubious, but here 


is palpable evidence and absolute certainty. 
As I trod the sounding pavement, there was 
something intense and thrilling in the idea, 
that, in very truth, the remains of Shakespeare 
were mouldering beneath my feet. It was a 
long time before I could prevail upon myself to 


leave the place \ and as I passed through the 
churchyard I plucked a branch from one of the 


yew trees, the only relic that I have brought 

from Stratford. 



I had now visited the usual objects of a 

pilgrim's devotion, but I had a desire to see the 

old family seat of the Lucys at Charlecote, and 


to ramble through the park where Shakespeare, 
in company with some of the roysters of 
Stratford, committed his youthful offence of 
deer-stealing. In this hare-brained exploit we 
are told that he was taken prisoner, and carried 
to the keeper's lodge, where he remained 
all night in doleful captivity. (23) When brought 


into the presence of Sir Thomas Lucy, his 
treatment must have been galling and humiliat- 
ing; for it so wrought upon his spirit as to 
produce a rough pasquinade, which was affixed 
to the park-gate at Charlecote.* 

This flagitious attack upon the dignity of the 
Knight so incensed him, that he applied to a 
lawyer at Warwick to put the severity of the 
laws in force against the rhyming deer-stalker. 
Shakespeare did not wait to brave the united 
puissance of a Knight of the Shire and a 
country attorney. He forthwith abandoned the 
pleasant banks of the Avon and his paternal 
* The following is the only stanza extant of this 

lampoon : 

A parliament member, a justice of peace, 
At home a poor scarecrow, at London an asse, 
If lowsie is Lucy, as some volke miscalle it, 
Then Lucy is lowsie, whatever befall it. 
He thinks himself great ; 
Yet an asse in his state, 
We allow by his ears but with asses to mate. 
If Lucy is lowsie as some volke miscall it, 
Then sing lowsie Lucy whatever befall it.<2*> 



trade ; wandered away to London ; became a 
hanger-on to the theatres ; then an actor ; and, 
finally, wrote for the stage; and thus, through 
the persecution of Sir Thomas Lucy, Stratford 
lost an indifferent wool-comber and the world 
gained an immortal poet. He retained, how- 
ever, for a long time, a sense of the harsh 
treatment of the Lord of Charlecote, and 
revenged himself in his writings ; but in the 
sportive way of a good-natured mind. Sir 
Thomas is said to be the original of Justice 
Shallow, and the satire is slily fixed upon him 
by the Justice's armorial bearings, which, like 
those of the Knight, had white luces* in the 

Various attempts have been made by his 
biographers to soften and explain away this 
early transgression of the poet; but I look 
upon it as one of those thoughtless exploits 

* The luce is a pike or jack, and abounds in the Avon 
about Charlecote. 


natural to his situation and turn of mind. 
Shakespeare, when young, had doubtless all the 
wildness and irregularity of an ardent, undis- 
ciplined, and undirected genius. The poetic 
temperament has naturally something in it of 
the vagabond. When left to itself it runs loosely 
and wildly, and delights in everything eccentric 
and licentious. It is often a turn up of a die, 
in the gambling freaks of fate, whether a natural 
genius shall turn out a great rogue or a great 
poet ; and had not Shakespeare's mind for- 
tunately taken a literary bias, he might have as 
daringly transcended all civil, as he has all 
dramatic laws. 

I have little doubt that, in early life, when 
running, like an unbroken colt, about the neigh- 
bourhood of Stratford, he was to be found in 
the company of all kinds of odd anomalous 
characters ; that he associated with all the 
madcaps of the place, and was one of those 
unlucky urchins, at mention of whom old men 


shake their heads, and predict that they will one 
day come to the gallows. To him the poaching 
in Sir Thomas Lucy's park was doubtless like a 


foray to a Scottish Knight, and struck his eager, 
and as yet untamed, imagination, as something 
delightfully adventurous.* 

* A proof of Shakespeare's random habits and associates 
in his youthful days may be found in a traditionary anec- 
dote, picked up at Stratford by the elder Ireland, and 
mentioned in his " Picturesque Views on the Avon." 


About seven miles from Stratford lies the thirsty little 
market town of Bidford, famous for its ale. Two societies 
of the village yeomanry used to meet, under the appellation 
of the Bidford topers, and to challenge the lovers of good 
ale of the neighbouring villages to a contest of drinking. 
Among others, the people of Stratford were called out to 
prove the strength of their heads ; and in the number of 
the champions was Shakespeare, who, in spite of the 
proverb, that "they who drink beer will think beer," was 
as true to his ale as Falstaff to his sack. The chivalry of 
Stratford was staggered at the first onset, and sounded a 
retreat while they had yet legs to carry them off the field. 
They had scarcely marched a mile, when, their legs failing 
them, they were forced to lie down under a crab-tree, 
where they passed the night. It is still standing, and 
goes by the name of Shakespeare's tree. 

In the morning his companions awaked the bard, 
and proposed returning to Bidford, but he declined, 
saying he had had enough, having drank with 
Piping Pebworth, Dancing Marston, 
Haunted Hillboro', Hungry Grafton, 
Budging Exhall, Papist Wixford, 
Beggarly Broom, and Drunken Bidford. 
" The villages here alluded to," says Ireland," still bear 
the epithets thus given them : the people of Pebworth are 
still famed for their skill on the pipe and tabor ; Hill- 
borough is now called Haunted Hillborough ; and Grafton 
is famous for the poverty of its soil. " 


The old mansion of Charlecote and its sur- 
rounding park still remain in the possession of 
the Lucy family, and are peculiarly interesting 


from being connected with this whimsical but 
eventful circumstance in the scanty history of 
the bard. As the house stood at little more 
than three miles distance from Stratford, I 
resolved to pay it a pedestrian visit, that I 
might stroll leisurely through some of those 
scenes from which Shakespeare must have 
derived his earliest ideas of rural imagery. 


The country was yet naked and leafless ; but 
English scenery is always verdant, and the 
sudden change in the temperature of the 
weather was surprising in its quickening effects 
upon the landscape. It was inspiring and ani- 
mating to witness this first awakening of spring : 
to feel its warm breath stealing over the senses ; 
to see the moist mellow earth beginning to put 
forth the green sprout and the tender blade ; 
and the trees and shrubs, in their reviving tints 
and bursting buds, giving the promise of returning 
foliage and flower. The cold snow -drop, that 
little borderer on the skirts of winter, was to be 
seen with its chaste white blossoms in the small 
gardens before the cottages. The bleating of 
the new dropt lambs was faintly heard from the 
fields. The sparrow twittered about the thatched 
eaves and budding hedges; the robin threw a 
livelier note into his late querulous wintry strain; 
and the lark, springing up from the reeking 
bosom of the meadow, towered away into the 


bright fleecy cloud, pouring forth torrents of 
melody. As I watched the little songster, 
mounting up higher and higher, until his body 
was a mere speck on the white bosom of the 
cloud, while the ear was still filled with his 
music, it called to mind Shakespeare's exquisite 
little song in Cymbeline : 

Hark ! hark ! the lark at heaven's gate sings, 

And Phoebus 'gins arise, 
His steeds to water at those springs, 
On chalic'd flowers that lies. 

And winking mary-buds begin 

To ope their golden eyes ; 
With everything that pretty bin : 

My lady sweet, arise ! 

Indeed the whole country about here is 
poetic ground : everything is associated with 
the idea of Shakespeare. Every old cottage that 
I saw, I fancied into some resort of his boy- 
hood, where he had acquired his intimate 
knowledge of rustic life and manners, and 
heard those legendary tales and wild super- 
stitions which he has woven like witchcraft into 


his dramas. For, in his time, we are told it was 
a popular amusement in winter evenings " to sit 
round the fire, and tell merry tales of errant 
knights, queens, lovers, lords, ladies, giants, 
dwarfs, thieves, cheaters, witches, fairies, 
goblins, and friars*." 

My route for a part of the way lay in sight of 
the Avon, which made a variety of the most 
fanciful doublings and windings through a wide 
and fertile valley ; sometimes glittering from 
among willows, which fringed its borders ; 
sometimes disappearing among groves, or 
beneath green banks ; and sometimes rambling 

* Scot, in his " Discoverie of Witchcraft," enumerates 
a host of these fire-side fancies. " And they have so fraid 
us with bull-beggars, spirits, witches, urchins, elves, hags, 
fairies, satyrs, pans, faunes, syrens, kit with the can 
sticke, tritons, centaurs, dwarfes, giantes, imps, calcars, 
conjurors, nymphes, changelings, incubus, Robin- 
goodfellow, the spoorne, the mare, the man in the oke, 
the hell-waine, the fiere drake, the puckle, Tom Thombe, 
hobgoblins, Tom Tumbler, boneless, and such other 
bugs, that we were afraid of our own shadowes." 


out into full view, and making an azure sweep 
round a slope of meadow land. This beautiful 
bosom of country is called the Vale of the Red 
Horse. (25) A distant line of undulating blue hills 
seems to be its boundary, whilst all the soft 
intervening landscape lies in a manner en- 
chained in the silver links of the Avon. 

After pursuing the road for about three miles, 
I turned off into a foot-path, which led along the 
borders of fields and under hedge-rows to a 
private gate of the park;' 20 ' there was a stile, 
however, for the benefit of the pedestrian ; there 
being a public right of way through the grounds. 
I delight in these hospitable estates, in which 
everyone has a kind of property at least as 
far as the foot-path is concerned. It in some 
measure reconciles a poor man to his lot, and 
what is more, to the better lot of his neighbour, 
thus to have parks and pleasure grounds thrown 
open for his recreation. He breathes the pure 
air as freely, and lolls as luxuriously under the 


shade, as the lord of the soil ; and if he has not 
the privilege of calling all that he sees his own, 
he has not, at the same time, the trouble of 
paying for it, and keeping it in order. 

I now found myself among noble avenues of 
oaks and elms, whose vast size bespoke the 
growth of centuries. (27> The wind sounded 
solemnly among their branches, and the rooks 
cawed from their hereditary nests in the tree 
tops. The eye ranged through a long lessening 
vista, with nothing to interrupt the view but a 
distant statue ; and a vagrant deer stalking like 
a shadow across the opening. (28) 

There is something about these stately old 
avenues that has the effect of gothic architec- 
ture, not merely from the pretended similarity 
of form, but from their bearing the evidence of 
long duration, and of having had their origin in 
a period of time with which we associate ideas 
of romantic grandeur. They betoken also the 


long-settled dignity, and proudly concentrated 
independence of an ancient family ; and I have 
heard a worthy but aristocratic old friend 



observe, when speaking of the sumptuous 
palaces of modern gentry, that "money could 
do much with stone and mortar, but, thank 
heaven, there was no such thing as suddenly 
building up an avenue of oaks." 


It was from wandering in early life among 
this rich scenery, and about the romantic soli- 
tudes of the adjoining park of Fulbroke, which 
then formed a part of the Lucy estate, that 
some of Shakespeare's commentators have 
supposed he derived his noble forest meditations 
of Jacques, and the enchanting woodland 
pictures in " As You Like It." It is in lonely 
wanderings through such scenes, that the mind 
drinks deep but quiet draughts of inspiration, 
and becomes intensely sensible of the beauty 
and majesty of nature. The imagination 
kindles into reverie and rapture ; vague but 
exquisite images and ideas keep breaking upon 
it ; and we revel in a mute and almost incom- 
municable luxury of thought. It was in some 
such mood, and perhaps under one of those 
very trees before me, which threw their broad 
shades over the grassy banks and quivering 
waters of the Avon, that the poet's fancy may 
have sallied forth into that little song which 


breathes the very soul of a rural voluptuary : 
Under the greenwood tree, 
Who loves to lie with me, 
And tune his merry note, 
Unto the sweet bird's throat, 
Come hither, come hither, come hither, 
Here shall he see 
No enemy, 
But winter and rough weather. 

I had now come in sight of the house. It is 
a large building of brick, with stone quoins, and 
is in the gothic style of Queen Elizabeth's day, 
having been built in the first year of her reign. 
The exterior remains very nearly in its original 
state, and may be considered a fair specimen of 
the residence of a wealthy country gentleman 
of those days. A great gateway opens from 
the park into a kind of court-yard in front of 
the house, ornamented with a grass-plot, shrubs, 
and flower-buds. The gateway is in imitation 
of the ancient barbacan ; being a kind of out- 
post, and flanked by towers ; though evidently 
for mere ornament, instead of defence. (29) The 


front of the house is completely in the old style; 
with stone shafted casements, a great bow- 
window of heavy stone-work, and a portal with 


armorial bearings over it, carved in stone. At 
each corner of the building is an octagon tower, 
surmounted by a gilt ball and weathercock. 


The Avon, which winds through the park, 
makes a bend just at the foot of a gently sloping 
bank, which sweeps down from the rear of the 
house. Large herds of deer were feeding or 
reposing upon its borders ; and swans were 
sailing majestically upon its bosom. As I 
contemplated the venerable old mansion, I 
called to mind Falstaffs encomium on Justice 
Shallow's abode, and affected indifference and 
real vanity of the latter : 

" Falstaff. You have here a ^goodly dwelling and a rich. 
Shallow. Barren, barren, barren ; beggars all, beggars 
all, Sir John: marry, good air." 

Whatever may have been the joviality of the 
old mansion in the days of Shakespeare, it had 
now an air of stillness and solitude. The great 
iron gateway that opened into the court-yard 
was locked; there was no show of servants 
bustling about the place ; the deer gazed quietly 
at me as I passed, being no longer harried by 
the moss-troopers of Stratford. The only sign 


of domestic life that I met with was a white 
cat stealing with wary look and stealthy pace 
towards the stables, as if on some nefarious 
expedition. I must not omit to mention the 
carcass of a scoundrel crow which I saw sus- 
pended against the barn wall, as it shows that 
the Lucys still inherit that lordly abhorrence of 
poachers, and maintain that rigorous exercise of 
territorial power which was so strenuously 
manifested in the case of the bard. 

After prowling about for some time, I at 
length found my way to a lateral portal, which 
was the every-day entrance to the mansion.* 30 ' I 
was courteously received by a worthy old house- 
keeper, who, with the civility and communi- 
cativeness of her order, showed me the interior 
of the house. The greater part has undergone 
alterations, and been adapted to modern tastes 
and modes of living : there is a fine old oaken stair- 
case ; <31) and the great hall, (82) that noble feature 
in an ancient manor-house, still retains much of 


the appearance it must have had in the days of 
Shakespeare. The ceiling is arched and lofty ; 
and at one end is a gallery, in which stands an 
organ. (33) The weapons and trophies of the chase, 
which formerly adorned the hall of a country 
gentleman, have made way for family portraits. 
There is a wide hospitable fire-place, calculated 
for an ample old-fashioned wood fire, formerly 
the rallying place of winter festivity. On the 
opposite side of the hall is the huge gothic bow- 
window, with stone shafts, which looks out 
upon the court-yard. Here are emblazoned in 
stained glass the armorial bearings of the Lucy 
family for many generations, some being dated 
in 1558. I was delighted to observe in the 
quarterings the three white luces, by which the 
character of Sir Thomas was first identified with 
that of Justice Shallow. They are mentioned 
in the first scene of " The Merry Wives of Wind- 
sor," where the Justice is in a rage with Falstaff 
for having " beaten his men, killed his deer, and 


broken into his lodge." The poet had no doubt 
the offences of himself and his comrades in 
mind at the time, and we may suppose the 
family pride and vindictive threats of the 
puissant Shallow to be a caricature of the 
pompous indignation of Sir Thomas. 

" Shallow. Sir Hugh, persuade me not : I will make a 
Star Chamber matter of it ; if he were twenty Sir John 
Falstaffs, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, Esq. 

Slender. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and 

Shallow. Ay, cousin Slender, and custalorum. 

Slender. Ay, and ratalorum too, and a gentleman born, 
master parson ; who writes himself Armigero in any bill, 
warrant, quittance, or obligation, Armigero. 

Shallow. Ay, that I do ; and have done any time these 
three hundred years. 

Slender. All his successors gone before him have 
done't, and all his ancestors that come after him may ; 
they may give the dozen white luces in their coat 

Shallow. The council shall hear it ; it is a riot. 

Evans. It is not meet the council hear of a riot ; there 
is no fear of Got in a riot ; the council, hear you, shall 
desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot ; 
take your vizaments in that. 

Shallow. Ha ! o' my life, if I were young again, the 
sword should end it ! " 


Near the window thus emblazoned hung a 
portrait by Sir Peter Lely of one of the Lucy 
family, a great beauty of the time of Charles the 
Second : (34) the old housekeeper shook her head 
as she pointed to the picture, and informed me 
that this lady had been sadly addicted to cards, 
and had gambled- away a great portion of the 
family estate, among which was that part of the 
park where Shakespeare and his comrades had 
killed the deer. The lands thus lost had not 
been entirely regained by the family even at the 
present day. It is but justice to this recreant 
dame to confess that she had a surpassingly fine 
hand and arm. 

The picture which most attracted my atten- 
tion was a great painting over the fire-place, 
containing likenesses of Sir Thomas Lucy and 
his family, who inhabited the hall in the latter 
part of Shakespeare's life-time. I at first thought 
that it was the vindictive knight himself, but the 
housekeeper assured me that it was his son ; the 


only likeness extant of the former being an effigy 
upon his tomb in the church of the neighbour- 
ing hamlet of Charlecote. The picture gives a 
lively idea of the costume and manners of the 
time. Sir Thomas is dressed in ruff and doublet; 
white shoes with roses in them; and has a peaked 
yellow, or, as Master Slender would say, " a 
cane-coloured beard." (35) His lady is seated on 
the opposite side of the picture in wide ruff and 
long stomacher, and the children have a most 
venerable stiffness and formality of dress. 
Hounds and spaniels are mingled in the family 
group ; a hawk is seated on his perch in the 
foreground, and one of the children holds a 
bow ; all intimating the knight's skill in hunt- 
ing, hawking, and archery so indispensable to 
an accomplished gentleman in those days.* 

* Bishop Earle, speaking of the country gentleman of 
his time, observes: "His housekeeping is seen much in the 
different families of dogs, and serving-men attendant on 
their kennels ; and the deepness of their throats is the 
depth of his discourse. A hawk he esteems the true 


I regretted to find that the ancient furniture 
of the hall had disappeared ; for I had hoped 
to meet with the stately elbow-chair of carved 
oak, in which the country Squire of former days 
was wont to sway the sceptre of empire over his 
rural domains ; and in which it might be pre- 
sumed the redoubted Sir Thomas sat enthroned 
in awful state when the recreant Shakespeare was 
brought before him. As I like to deck out 
pictures for my entertainment, I pleased myself 
with the idea that this very hall had been the 
scene of the unlucky bard's examination on the 
morning after his captivity in the lodge. I 

burden of nobility, and is exceedingly ambitious to seem 
delighted with the sport, and have his fist gloved with his 
jesses." And Gilpin, in his description of a Mr. Hastings, 
remarks: "He kept all sorts of hounds that run buck, 
fox, hare, otter and badger ; and had hawks of all kinds, 
both long and short- winged. His great hall was commonly 
strewed with marrowbones, and full of hawk perches, 
hounds, spaniels, and terriers. On a broad hearth, paved 
with brick, lay some of the choicest terriers, hounds and 


fancied to myself the rural potentate, surrounded 
by his body-guard of butler, pages, and blue- 
coated serving-men with their badges ; while 
the luckless culprit was brought in, forlorn 
and chapfallen, in the custody of gamekeepers, 
huntsmen, and whippers-in, and followed by a 
rabble rout of country clowns. I fancied bright 
faces of curious housemaids peeping from the 
half-opened doors ; while from the gallery the 
fair daughters of the Knight leaned gracefully 
forward, eyeing the youthful prisoner with that 
pity " that dwells in womanhood." Who would 
have thought that this poor varlet, thus trem- 
bling before the brief authority of a country 
Squire, and the sport of rustic boors, was soon 
to become the delight of princes ; the theme of 
all tongues and ages ; the dictator to the human 
mind ; and was to confer immortality on his 
oppressor by a caricature and a lampoon ! 

I was now invited by the butler (36) to walk 
into the garden, and I felt inclined to visit the 


orchard and arbour where the Justice treated 
Sir John Falstaff and Cousin Silence ( ' to a last 
year's pippen of his own graffing, with a dish of 
carraways;" but I had already spent so much of 
the day in my ramblings that I was obliged to 
give up any further investigations. When about 
to take my leave I was gratified by the civil 
entreaties of the housekeeper and butler, that I 
would take some refreshment : an instance of 
good old hospitality, which I grieve to say we 
castle-hunters seldom meet with in modern days. 
I make no doubt it is a virtue which the present 
representative of the Lucys inherits from his 
ancestors ; for Shakespeare, even in his caricature, 
makes Justice Shallow importunate in this 
respect, as witness his pressing instances to 

" By cock and pye, Sir, you shall not away to-night. 
.... I will not excuse you ; you shall not be excused ; 
excuses shall not be admitted ; there is no excuse shall 

serve ; you shall not be excused Some 

pigeons, Davy ; a couple of short-legged hens ; a joint 
of mutton ; and any pretty little tiny kickshaws, tell 
William Cook." 


I now bade a reluctant farewell to the old 
hall. My mind had become so completely pos- 
sessed by the imaginary scenes and characters 
connected with it ; that I seemed to be actually 
living among them. Everything brought them 
as it were before my eyes ; and as the door of 
the dining-room opened, I almost expected to 
hear the feeble voice of Master Silence quaver- 
ing forth his favourite ditty : 

" 'Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all, 
And welcome merry Shrove-tide!" 



On returning to my inn, I could not but 

reflect on the singular gift of the poet ; to be 

able thus to spread the magic of his mind over 


the very face of nature ; to give to things and 
places a charm and character not their own, 
and to turn this "working-day world" into a 
perfect fairy land. He is indeed the true 
enchanter, whose spell operates, not upon the 
senses, but upon the imagination and the heart. 
Under the wizard influence of Shakespeare I had 


been walking all day in a complete delusion. 
I had surveyed the landscape through the prism 
of poetry, which tinged every object with the 
hues of the rainbow. I had been surrounded 
with fancied beings ; with mere airy nothings, 
conjured up by poetic power ; yet which, to me, 
had all the charm of reality. I had heard 
Jacques soliloquize beneath his oak ; had beheld 
the fair Rosalind and her companion adventur- 
ing through the woodlands ; and, above all, had 
been once more present in spirit with fat Jack 
Falstaff, and his contemporaries, from the 
august Justice Shallow, down to the gentle 
Master Slender, and the sweet Anne Page. Ten 
thousand honours and blessings on the bard 
who has thus gilded the dull realities of life 
with innocent illusions ; who has spread 
exquisite and unbought pleasures in my 
chequered path ; and beguiled my spirit in 
many a lonely hour, with all the cordial and 
cheerful sympathies of social life ! 


As I crossed the bridge over the Avon on my 

return, I paused to contemplate the distant 

church in which the poet lies buried, and could 

not but exult in the malediction, which has kept 


his ashes undisturbed in its quiet and hallowed 
vaults. What honour could his name have 
derived from being mingled in dusty companion- 
ship with the epitaphs and escutcheons and 
venal eulogiums of a titled multitude? What 
would a crowded corner in Westminster Abbey 
have been, compared with this reverend pile, 


which seems to stand in beautiful loneliness as 
his sole mausoleum ! The solicitude about the 
grave may be but the offspring of an over-wrought 
sensibility ; but human nature is made up of 
foibles and prejudices ; and its best and ten- 
derest affections are mingled with these factitious 
feelings. He who has sought renown about the 
world, and has reaped a full harvest of worldy 
favour, will find, after all, that there is no love, 
no admiration, no applause, so sweet to the soul 
as that which springs up in his native place. It 
is there that he seeks to be gathered in peace 
and honour among his kindred and his early 
friends. And when the weary heart and failing 
head begin to warn him that the evening of life 
is drawing on, he turns as fondly as does the 
infant to the mother's arms, to sink to sleep in 
the bosom of the scene of his childhood. 

How would it have cheered the spirit of the 
youthful bard, when, wandering forth in disgrace 
upon a doubtful world, he cast back a heavy 


look upon his paternal home, could he have 
foreseen that, before many years, he should 
return to it covered with renown ; that his name 
should become the boast and glory of his native 
place ; that his ashes should be religiously 
guarded as its most precious treasure ; and that 
its lessening spire, on which his eyes were fixed 
in tearful contemplation, should one day become 
the beacon, towering amidst the gentle land- 
scape, to guide the literary pilgrim of every 
nation to his tomb ! 

The initials placed after the Notes signify their source: 
S. - Saunders Collection. 
W. - Wheler Collection. 
ED. - Editors' Notes. 

:) ^ ii 

HE arm-chair " Throne," which Irving 
describes, is still to be seen in the 
little parlour of the Red Horse Hotel. 

(2) The Red Horse Inn, at Stratford-upon-Avon, has, by 
the " honourable mention " of Geoffry Crayon, 
acquired much additional celebrity amongst the 
votaries of Shakespeare, and more particularly with 
his transatlantic admirers, who are not only numer- 
ous but enthusiastic in his cause, and invariably ask 
leave to be received in the "little parlour." This 
snug apartment is immediately on the left of the 
gateway of entrance, and fronts to the Bridge Street. 

NOTES. 105 

It is>lready, through the presents of strangers, decor- 
ated with the portrait of Washington Irving, well 
engraved and framed in gold. And the portion of 
this admirable delineator's " Sketch Book" relating 
to Stratford-upon-Avon, neatly bound, lies on the 
table, to give information, or to receive the remarks 
of the well-bred critic, and is thus inscribed by the 
donor " Presented by Mr. Moncure Robinson, of 
Virginia, to the landlady of the Red Horse Inn, for 
the perusal of future pilgrims at Stratford with an 
understanding that when too much worn for use it 
will be replaced by another copy. September 2ist, 

This enthusiasm manifests itself whimsically in some 
instances, for a small party, a short time since, 
abstracted the "poker" from this apartment, and 
taking up our author's considering it a symbol of 
dominion, returned it, in a few days, inscribed 
"GEOFFREY CRAYON'S SCEPTRE," and displaying 
an honesty for which the household gave them in the 
first instance no great credit. And "mine host," a 
well-read Shakespearian himself, bethought him of 
our poet's words : 

" Nym and Bardolph are sworn brothers in filching; 
and in Calais they stole a fireshovel." 
And was almost fearful he should lose his own supre- 
macy in a consequent inability to "Turn and wind 
his fiery Pegasus " whilst he exclaimed from his 
gouty throne : 

io6 NOTES. 

" No hand of blood and bone 
Can gripe the sacred handle of our Sceptre, 
Unless he do prophane, steal^ or usurp." S. 
The "party" thus facetiously alluded to as having 
abstracted the poker was, in reality, Mr. Henry Van 
Wart, Irving's brother-in-law. He took it to Birming- 
ham, with the consent of Mr. Isaac Gardner, the 

/ * 


then owner of the Red Horse, and had engraved 
upon it "Geoffrey Crayon's Sceptre." It is still 
preserved with all reverent care at the hotel, and 
shown to visitors who are interested. Ed. 

NOTES. 109 

(3) Our author is here mistaken ; the church tower never 
contained a clock, and admitting it did, its distance 
from the Red Horse would have rendered such sound 
inaudible. " The very witching time of night " was 
announced, in this instance, from the Market Cross, 


which then supported the public clock nearest to his 
Inn, and which, about a year and a half subsequently 
to Mr. Irving's first recorded visit, was pulled down 
to be succeeded by a contiguous structure of greater 
extent and convenience to the weekly market. S. 

i io NOTES. 

The ancient Market Cross was taken down August 
nth, 1821, and the old clock passed into the posses- 
sion of the late Mr. John Pearce, whose clockmaker's 
shop was immediately opposite the building ; it was 
afterwards fixed at Talton House, about six miles 
from Stratford-upon-Avon, where it still remains. 
The present Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon is the 
grandson of Mr. John Pearce, and will have filled 
the Mayoral chair three years on 9th November 
next (1900). Ed. 

(4) Sally Gardiner [Garner], the zealous housekeeper of 
the establishment, regrets that she did not show 
herself on this occasion to our author, for she it was 
who actually rapped at the door, and by subsequently 
allowing pretty Hannah Cuppage to attend him with 
the bed candle and warming-pan to No. 15 (imme- 
diately over "the little parlour ") lost an immortality 
from his pen. On a future visit, however, she still 
hopes to exclaim : 
"'Tis now midnight, and by eight o'clock to-morrow, 

I may be made immortal." 

It should be added that Sally is (as well as her 
master, Mr. Isaac Gardner), in "single blessedness;" 
that in dress she is the quakerly personification of the 
"simplex munditiis,"and from surname and obliging 
and uncontrouled exercise of deputed authority, is 
constantly supposed to rightfully assert, and not 

y To take upon her the hostess-ship of the day." S. 

NOTES. in 

Having a strong objection to sit for her portrait, no 
likeness of Sally would have been made had not 
someone surreptitiously and cleverly cut a paper 
silhouette of her. The accompanying sketch is 


taken from this silhouette, now in the possession of 
Alderman W. G. Colbourne. The tray and glasses 
are a satire upon the maid's temperance proclivity. 
It is a fact that she would not allow a post-boy to 
drink a glass of beer until he had first eaten some 
bread and cheese. Sally was with Mr. Isaac Gardner 
many years ; she retired to Tanworth, near Henley- 
in-Arden, died at an advanced age, and was buried 
there. Ed. 

112 NOTES. 

(5) Tradition is the only ground upon which old John 

Shakespeare having been a woolcomber rests. Yet 
it is not improbable to have been the case during 
some portion of his sojourning in Stratford. He is re- 
corded in the town archives as a Glover, as a 
Yeoman, as a Gentleman and through all the grada- 
tions of municipal rank to that of chief magistrate. S. 

(6) Irving simply saw the middle portion of the house in 

which the Poet was born ; it originally consisted of 
sixteen rooms, but at the time of the author's visit it 
was divided into three tenements. Ed. 

(7) The widow Hornby's is an admirably drawn portrait. 

She removed from this interesting residence on loth 
of October, 1820, when her landlady, the widow 
Court, took possession, and where our author made 
his second visit, as before stated ; Mrs. Hornby took 
away all the undoubted articles which belonged to 
Shakespeare with her, to another habitation imme- 
diately opposite, where she continued to exhibit 
them ; yet Geoffrey Crayon is known never again to 
have exclaimed: " Shall we go see the relics?" 
As these rival dowagers parted on envious terms, 
they were constantly to be seen at their doors 
abusing each other and their respective visitors, and 
frequently with so much acerbity as to disgust and 
even deter the latter from entering either dwelling. 
The following impromptu proceeded from a traveller 
who had called on, and been annoyed by both : 

NOTES. 113 

"What Birthplace here! and relics there? 
Abuse from each ! ye brawling blowses ! 
Each picks my pocket, 'tis not fair, 

A stranger's " Curse on both your houses !" 
This destructive rivalry at length rose to such a 
height, that in [1823] one street could not contain 
them, when Mrs. Hornby removed the relics to 
another receptacle in Wood Street, where they now 
[1828] repose, except the " Tobacco Box," which her 
son, leaving home, took away as a remembrance, 
and of which the following is a correct resemblance : 

It is a pocket box of iron, and in the lid is inserted 
a burning glass for igniting the "aromatic weed." 
The representation given below is that of a 
Spanish Card-box, embellished with the regal arms 



of King Philip, which is reported by the exhibitor 
to have been a present to Queen Elizabeth, and from 
her to Shakespeare ! 

The real history of the lantern is, that Hart the 
glazier, a descendant from the poet's sister, formed it 
out of the broken glass of the birth-house, which he 
inherited and dwelt in. 

The chair shown until 1790, then disappeared ; it 
was sold by the last resident, Hart, to the agents of 
a foreigner of distinction. Mr. Burnet, in his " View 
of the present state of Poland," thus describes this 
relic: "The Princess Czartoryska has amassed a con- 
siderable collection of curiosities of various descrip- 
tions. Amongst others the reader may judge of my 
pleasing surprise, on discovering in Poland, the chair 
of Shakespeare ! It was one day sent for to the saloon : 
a pretty large chair soon made its appearance, and 
seemingly consisted of one entire piece of wood, the 
back being plain, and somewhat ornamented at the 
sides ; but what appeared to me the strangest circum- 
stance of all was, that the whole was painted or 
stained of a faint or delicate green colour. Being 
left to wonder for a while at appearances, which 
I found myself unable to explain, from the little 
knowledge I possessed of the antiquities of the reigns 
of Elizabeth and James, some hand was placed on the 
back of the chair, a great case was uplifted, and 
behold a little plain, ordinary and whitish wooden 

NOTES. 115 

chair appeared, such as might haply he found in most 
of our cottages of the present day ! " S. 

In 1823 Mrs. Hornby removed her "relics" from the 
little house, opposite the Birthplace, to Wood Street. 
Some years afterwards they were exhibited in 
Bridge Street, and soon after at 23, High Street, 
where they were shown to visitors by Mrs. Hornby's 
grand-daughter, Mrs. Arabella James, until August, 
1867, when they were sold by auction ; a few of the 
lots, considered to be genuine, were purchased by the 
Birthplace Trustees, and friends of Mrs. James 
bought in most of the remaining lots ; these she 
exhibited until her death in December, 1880, her 
only sister, Mrs. Smith, then becoming their pos- 
sessor, removed to 23, High Street, and continued 
the exhibition for about nine years, when (on the 
death of her husband), she removed to 5, Trinity 
Street, and took the objects with her. Remaining 
there for a year or two she moved to 56, Ely Street, 
and died there in February, 1893, leaving the relics 
to her nephew, Mr. Thomas Hornby, of King's 
Thorpe, in Northamptonshire. He died in 1896, 
and on the 4th June of that year, they were, together 
with the much mutilated early Birthplace Visitors' 
Autograph Albums, sold by Messrs. Christie, Manson 
and Woods, to various purchasers. The where- 
abouts of the "Tobacco-box" is at present unknown. 

116 NOTES. 

The follouiing prices realised at the sale for some of 
the chief relics may be of interest : 

s. d. 

Lot 96 A carved oak chair, with high cane back, 8150 
,, 97 Ditto do. ... ... 900 

,, 98 An oak arm chair ... ... 12 10 o 

,, 99 A child's chair ... ... 660 

,, 100 An oak writing desk, carved ... 300 

,, 101 An oak chest, said to have been 

Anne Hathaway's... ... 850 

,, 1 06 A piece of Shakespeare's mulberry tree 2120 
,, 107 An old iron lock, from the door of 

Shakespeare's birth chamber I 40 

,, 1 08 Iron grate and crane, from the Birthplace o 12 o 
,,109 Iron coffre fort ... ... 440 

,, no A card box ... ... ... 3 30 

,, III A lantern ... ... ... 600 

,, 112 A basket-hiked sword (described by 

Washington Irving) ... 5 10 o 

113 Plaster panel, David and Goliath, 1606 
(taken from the wall of Shakespeare's 
house) ... ... ... 26 o o 

,, 1 20 Sir John and Lady Barnard, a pair 

of portraits... ... ... 4 10 o 

,, 121 Portrait of a girl, said to be Judith 

Shakespeare .. ... 2 10 o 

The portraits of Sir John and Lady Barnard were 
bought by the Birthplace Trustees. Judith Shake- 
speare's portrait was bought by Mr. Edward Fox, of 

NOTES. 117 

Stratford-upon-Avon, and is now exhibited in the 
Picture Gallery at the Shakespeare Memorial. 
The whole sale realised ^130 95. 6d. Messrs. J. 
and M. L. Tregaskis purchased many of the lots. 


(8) Irving was mistaken on that point, owing probably to 

the division of the house mentioned in Note 6. John 
Shakespeare's shop consisted of the two lower rooms 
of the portion now used for a Museum and Library. 


(9) Miss Hawkins, thus adverts to the dramatic powers 

of the proprietor of the relics : 

" Mrs. Hornby, a very decent nurse-like woman in 
her exterior, appears very singular in her mind. She 
writes and prints plays and verses of her own com- 
position. From the newspapers she has made a 
tragedy of the battle of Waterloo, the queerest thing 
imaginable. The interlocutors' names are in initials, 
the P.R., D.Y., and the Marquess of W. She has 
made our Ministry sitting in council, under the 
appelations of ist, 2nd, and 3rd Minister. In one 
act she has made Buonaparte in Paris, and Louis a 
fugitive ; in the next she has made the Parisians 
merely conjecturing Buonaparte's escape from Elba. 
But her innocent conceit is the most curious circum- 
stance of her character. She talks of her performances 
with wondrous approbation ; she says she composes 
whenever she cannot sleep ;" [surely it must be herself 
thereto] "and has written some beautiful verses, c." 

118 NOTES. 

Miss Hawkins certainly overrates the literary acquire- 
ments of Mrs. Hornby. Othello says 
" There is no composition in news 

That gives them credit." 
They are better estimated by Dogberry 
" To write and read comes by nature." 

In fact, the reputed authoress is none ! S. 
Printed copies of Mrs. Hornby's compositions are in 
the Birthplace and Memorial Libraries, and the 
following description of the brochures may be of 
interest : 

"The / Battle of Waterloo, / a tragedy, / by Mary 
Hornby. / Stratford-upon-Avon. / Printed for the 
Author, by W. Barnacle / 1819." 
In the Preface it is stated that ' ' The following pages 
were originally written in detached parts, in the 
same room which gave birth to my great Predecessor, 
the immortal Shakespeare." 

Alas poor Mary ! though her will was good her 
poetic muse went haulting, and she "humbly im- 
plored, from an indulgent public, that kindness, 
which an unprotected Female never asked in vain." 
" Extemporary / verses,/ written at the/ Birthplace / 
of / Shakespeare, / at / Stratford-upon-Avon, / by 
people of genius ; / To which is added, / a brief 
History of the immortal / Bard and family, / with / 
a discourse on Natural / and Moral Philosophy, / by 
Mary Hornby. / Price One Shilling. Barnacle, 
Printer, Stratford." 

NOTES. 119 

This very rare tract contains an address " To the 
Public," wherein Mary Hornby vindicates herself 
against the " design of her enemies," who had thrown 
discredit upon the Shakespeare relics. " The House 
is the same as when my late husband was put in 
possession of it, which was by Thomas Hart, of 
whom he also purchased part of the Relics which I 
shew in the House. The Poet's descendants lived here 
in regular succession until my husband took it." 
There can be no doubt about the correctness of Mrs. 
Hornby's statement, though she is believed to have 
added to the original collection purchased at a 
valuation from Thomas Hart, on May 2Oth, 1793. 
But the Harts were collateral, not direct descendants 
of the poet, being descended from Shakespeare's 
sister Joan, who married William Hart. 
As an example of Mary's "poetry," the following 
lines may be quoted : 

"'Twas Shakespeare's skill to draw the tender tear, 
For never heart felt passion more sincere ; 
See Shakespeare's awful rev'rend shade, 
And bind thy brows with laurel made." M.H. 
Mary Hornby's account of the "dice box" runs as 
follows : 

11 Shakespeare had a goblet of great value, with his 
arms engraved upon it, it was supposed to have 
been introduced to the King of Spain ; this goblet 
was a round drinking vessel or cup, made without 

120 NOTES. 

a resting part, so that the person was obliged to 
drink what it contained or run the hazard of 
spilling the Liquor if he set it down ; in return, he 
[the King of Spain] presented the Poet with a gold 
embroidered dice box ; upon account of the im- 
mense profit the Duke made by wool." p. 14. 
Poor Mary seems to have gone wool gathering at the 
end of this sentence, but probably this allusion is to 
John Shakespeare's trade, to which she had pre- 
viously referred. Ed. 

Robert Bell Wheler had no belief in Mrs. Hornby's 
poetic powers, and states that "It is well known that 
not any of her plays, scarcely any part of them, were 
of her own composition. Bad as they are, she had not 
the ability to write them. They were composed by 
various persons whom she employed and paid. I 
have heard that a recruiting sergeant supplied her 
with a considerable portion. Her ignorance was as 
great as her credulity, and she debated whether she 
should make "The Battle of Waterloo" a Comedy 
or a Tragedy, and at last made it, as Miss Hawkins 
justly observes, "the queerest thing imaginable." . . 
She had three children, Mary Spiers Hornby (after- 
wards married to Joseph Reasen, a butcher in Wood 
Street, Stratford), Richard Shakespeare Hornby, and 
John Hornby ; the latter of whom died a minor I9th 
August, 1815." ^. 

(10) The same prepossession as to the distance of the 
church, as that cleared up in Note 3. S. and Ed. 

NOTES. 121 

(n) Jack-daws, not rooks, build in, and hover about the 
church tower. A colony of the latter have, during 
the last spring [1828], settled in the lofty elms here. 


(12) William Edmonds, whom our author accurately 
describes, was then the Clerk of the Parish, and 
resided in the central building of the group of cot- 
tages in the vignette, the low doorway of which 
entered into the kitchen so minutely and correctly 
remarked by Mr. Irving. Being then a widower, his 
grand -daughter, Sally Kite, kept his house ; she 
subsequently married James Trinder, a carpenter. 


William Edmonds was born about 1740, but 
his baptism does not appear to be entered in 
the Stratford-upon-Avon Registers. He married 
Elizabeth Nichols, of Stratford-upon-Avon, on 6th 
October, 1761, their only child, Elizabeth, was bap- 
tised 1 8th November, 1768; on I3th April, 1796, 
she married Francis Horn Kite, of Stratford, by 
whom she had five sons and one daughter, of whom 
Thomas, the youngest, born 3oth June, 1809, died 
at Stratford-upon-Avon 27th December, 1899. From 
1829 to 1860 he occupied the post of Parish Clerk 
and conducted Mr. M. Van Buren, Minister of the 
United States, Washington Irving, the secretary, and 
Mr. John Van Buren, son of the above, through 
the church on their visit 2oth December, 1831. 

122 NOTES. 

The old sexton's wife died in February, 1811, and 
his grand-daughter, Sally Kite, "a pretty blue-eyed 
girl," born 6th November, 1796, kept his house until 
his death, 27th April, 1823, at the age of 83 years. 
She then, as Saunders observes, " married James 
Trinder" and had issue, some of whom are still living 
in Stratford. Ed. 

(13) This clock now stands 
in the " little parlour " 
of the Red Horse Hotel, 
and bears, upon a brass 
plate, the following in- 
scription : 

Old Sexton's Clock, 
mentioned in the 
" Sketch Book," 


Washington Irving. 
It was made by "Thomas 
Sharp, Stratford;" the 
man who purchased the 
wood of the mulberry 
tree, planted by Shake- 
speare at New Place, 
after it had been cut 
down by the Rev. 
Francis Gastrell, in 

NOTES. 12$ 

(14) This was, many years ago, given to a tradesman of 
Stratford-upon-Avon to repair, and was never re- 
turned, nor can its whereabouts now be traced. It 
is represented as hanging to the left of the clock in 
the view of the interior of Edmond's cottage. Ed. 

(15) Joseph Ainge was at that time one of the almsmen 
of the borough. These cronies [Ainge and Edmonds], 
lie buried in the churchyard, as foreseen, Edmonds 
having died on the 27th of April, 1823, and Ainge, 
on nth of October, 1824, the one aged 83, the latter 
88. S. 

Irving evidently misunderstood the Christian name 
of Ainge. Edmonds would familiarly address him 
as "Joe," and Irving took it to be John. Ainge mar- 
ried Isabel Nichols, of Stratford-upon-Avon, on I2th 
October, 1761. He was appointed to an almsplace 
on 6th February, 1805, in the place of Joseph Buck, 
deceased. Ed. 

(16) At the conclusion of that Jubilee, Edmonds secured 
a curious wooden punch-ladle which, having passed 

JUBILEE, 1769. 

126 NOTES. 

to his only child Elizabeth, ultimately became the 
property of her youngest son Thomas Kite, from 
whom it was purchased on ist March, 1899, by the 
Trustees and Guardians of Shakespeare's Birthplace, 
and placed in the Birthplace Museum. Ed. 

(17) Jordan, the Stratford poet, among many other vag- 
aries was, at one period, extremely anxious to 
establish a belief that Shakespeare was born at a 
house by the Waterside, at the eastern extremity of 
Mr. Hunt's garden, called the Brook house. It was 
pulled down about 17 . . , and in 1597 had been 
occupied by a coal dealer. Jordan sent his proofs 
to Mr. Malone, and was most sanguine that he 
would, in his expected new edition, make a decisive 
use of them. They have not, however, been pro- 
mulgated by Mr. Boswell, and doubtless were 
inconclusive. By the Chamberlain's accounts of 
1597 it appears that there was "paid to Thomas 
Waring, of the Broke house, for Ixxij qr. of colles 
iijli. xijs." W. 

The "old sexton" was evidently imbued with 
Jordan's theory. Ed. 

(18) The doors were removed by request of the present 
Vicar in 1891, and sold by one of the churchwardens 
in 1894. Whereupon the parishioners demanded that 
these relics of a former age should be returned. They 
have since been lying in an outhouse on the south 
side of the churchyard. An account of their cost, in 

NOTES. 127 

1617, may be seen in the Vestry Minute Book of 
Stratford-upon-Avon, p. 6, lately published by the 
Rev. G. Arbuthnot, Vicar of the Parish. Ed. 

(19) These were chiefly over monuments to the Clopton 
family and Sir George and Lady Carew ; only a few 
pieces now remain. Ed. 

(20) This is very doubtful, but the lines may have been 
written by those who knew his wishes. Ed. 

(21) With reference to the bust, the following "excuse" 
and remarks appear in one of the church albums 
(deposited in the Birthplace Library), and are from 
the pen of the celebrated painter, R. B. Haydon 

" An excuse for Malone's painting Shakespeare's bust: 
Ye who visit the shrine 
Of the poet divine 

With patient Malone don't be vext ! 
On his face he's thrown light 
By painting it white 
Which you know he ne'er did on his text ! 

July 18, 1828." 
(Signed with monogram) R. B. H. 

July 19, [1828]. 

"The more this bust of Shakespeare is studied, the 
more every one must be convinced of its truth of form, 
feature, and expression. Some one has said, " If it 
be not a flattering, at least it is a faithful resemblance " 

128 NOTES. 

at least ! ; the faithful resemblance of a great man, 
is the most important part of a Portrait. No ideal 
or poetical conception however elevated could have 
exceeded or equalled, the form and beauty of the 
upper part of the head, from the eye-brows : the 
forehead is as firm as Raphael's or Bacon's ; and the 
form of the nose and exquisite refinement of the 
mouth, with its amiable, genial hilarity of wit and 
good- nature ; so characteristic, so evidently #7*ideal, 
bearing truth in every curve, with a little bit of the 
teeth shewing, at the moment of smiling, which must 
have been often seen, by those who had the happiness 
to know Shakespeare, and must have been pointed 
out to the sculptor as necessary to likeness when he 
(Shakespeare) was dead. The whole bust is stamped 
with an air of fidelity, perfectly invaluable. Some 
have thought the upper lip was lengthened, to give 
room for the mustachis; but our artist who has 
proved himself so able in the form and feature of the 
other parts, would have never dared to take such an 
unwarrantable liberty. The great object in the 
resemblances of great men should be truth: the 
disease of the present generation, when they are 
painted, is not to be made as they are even in their 
best looks, but as they wish nature had made them ! 
All true individual expression and character is lost 
in a general air of effeminate fashion and dandyism. 
Those who have Roman noses, beg they may be made 
straight, and those who have short ones, order them 

NOTES. 129 

to be painted long; thus all faith is lost, and a por- 
trait no longer becomes what the portraits of the 
illustrious especially ought always to be, viz.: a 
future subject of speculation for the physionomist, 
the artist, and the philosopher. This bust of Shake- 
speare is the very reverse in execution of the 
weakness complained of; and as long as the material 
lasts, will convey to all adorers, a form of head and 
feature, and a look and expression, on which their 
enthusiasm may implicitly rely. The best view of it 
is in profile, when standing on the vaults and looking 
between the little black Corinthian column and the 
back of the monument no one who sees it, thus, 
will affirm I have exaggerated its pretensions. 

Hail and farewell ! 
Underneath is written, H." 

" Aug. 1832. 
Remarks worthy of Haydon Dan. McClise." Ed. 

The eminent sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey, while 
staying with the Rev. Francis Palmer, Rector of 
Alcester, visited Stratford-upon-Avon, and on his 
return Mr. Palmer asked him what he thought of 
Shakespeare's bust in the Parish Church, to which 
he replied "The head is as finely chiselled as a 
master man could do it, but the bust any common 
labourer would produce." Ed. 

(22) Here we have a correct statement as to the non- 
intrusion of any unhallowed hand into the sacred 

130 NOTES. 

depository of Shakespeare's dust, on this occasion, 
which honestly counteracts the impression which Sir 
Richard Phillips pretends to have received, on the 
spot, from a gentleman whose delicate devotion and 
zeal for his transcendent townsman is as conspicuous 
as his incapability of misleading the book-making 
knight to print so flagrant a perversion of the valuable 

information which Mr. generously did 


[ Vide " Monthly Magazine," Feb 1818.] S. 

(23) Fulbrook Park, on the opposi c side of the Avon, 
which also belonged to Sir Thomas Lucy, and formed 
an appendage or continuation of the Charlecote Park, 
is the place traditionally i elated to be the site of the 
youthful Shakespeare's c epredations ; and here, on a 
commanding eminence, called Daisy Hill, now occu- 
pied as a farm-house, yet stands the Ranger's Lodge, 
where the captured deer-stalkers are said to have 
passed the night in durance, previous to their being 
taken before Sir Thomas for his fiat. S. 

In 1510, Henry VIII. gave the manor of Fulbrook 
to Thomas Lucy, sewer to the King, to hold during 
pleasure. John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, next 
received it from the Crown in 1547, and upon his 
attainder chief delinquent in the Lady Jane Grey's 
affair, Queen Mary, in 1553, granted it to her Privy 
Councillor, Sir Francis Englefield, to hold in capite. 
In 1586 he was attainted and convicted of high 


NOTES. 133 

treason, and his possessions forfeited, but the pro- 
ceeds were not appropriated by the Queen. On his 
death at Valladolid, in 1592, Fulbrook, having 
previously reverted to the Crown by his attainder, 
was re-granted, but this time in fee simple, to 
Nicholas Faunt, Clerk of the Signet, with remainder 
to Margaret, widow of John Englefield, the brother 
of Sir Francis. Sir Francis Englefield, son of this 
Margaret, sold the estate to the third Sir Thomas 
Lucy, of Charlecote, in 1615, for 1,850, as is shewn 
by the original deeds still extant. It is thus seen 
that from 1553 to 1592 Fulbrook Park was held in 
capite of the Crown by Sir Francis Englefield, that 
he was attainted and his property sequestered up to 
1592, it therefore follows, that Sir Thomas Lucy had 
no property in Fulbrook at this time ; nor, indeed 
had the Lucy family any right in the estate until the 
year before Shakespeare's death. 

For further information respecting the deer-stealing 
tradition we would refer our readers to a pamphlet 
written in 1862, by the late Charles Holte Brace- 
bridge, entitled " Shakespeare no Deerstealer," and 
to a letter by Mr. Edward J. L. Scott, MSS. 
Department, British Museum, contributed to the 
Athenaum* June 6th, 1896. Ed. 

(24) The sequel of this song is thus supplied by John 
Jordan, the poetic wheelwright of Stratford, to whom 

134 NOTES. 

Malone gave implicit and extraordinary credence 

He's a haughty, proud, insolent knight of the shire, 

At home nobody loves, yet there's many him feare. 

If Lucy is Lowsie as some volke miscall it 

Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

To the Sessions he went and dyd sorely complain 

His parke had been rob'd, and his deer they were slain. 

This Lucy is Lowsie as some volke miscall it 

Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

He sayd 'twas a ryot his men had been beat, 

His venson was stole and clandestinely eat. 

Soe Lucy is Lowsie as some volke miscall it 

Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

Soe haughty was he when the fact was confess'd 

He said 'twas a crime that could not be redress'd 

Soe Lucy is Lowsie as some volke miscall it 

Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

Though Lucies a dozen he wears on his coat 

His name it shall Lowsie for Lucy be wrote. 

For Lucy is Lowsie as some volke miscall it 

Synge Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. 

If a juvenile frolic he cannot forgive 

We'll sing Lowsie Lucy as long as we live. 

And Lucy the Lowsie a libel may call it, 

We'll sing Lowsie Lucy whatever befall it. S. 

Jordan professed to have discovered the above in an 
old chest at Shottery. Ed. 

. ''' I'.', .&" "... ft ' ' 'lllfTi 


NOTES. 137 

(25) Drayton, in "The thirteenth Song" of his Poly- 
olbion, thus charmingly enables this vale to describe 
her beauties and extent 

' ' from where my head I couch 

A CotswoltPs countries foot, till with my heeles I touch 
The North-hamptonian fields, and fatning Pastures; 

I rauish euery eye with my inticing cheere. 

For showing of my bounds, if men may rightly ghesse, 
By my continued forme which best doth me expresse, 
On either of my sides and by the rising grounds, 
Which in one fashion hold, as my most certaine Mounds 
In length neere thirtie miles I am discern'd to bee." 


(26) The path was across a portion of the present park, 
which extends from the Lodge gates to what is known 
as Old Town on the left and the highway on the 
right ; an addition made some forty years ago. 
Originally the park consisted of 210 acres, but at the 
present time about 250 acres, well stocked with herds 
of fallow and red deer. Ed. 

(27) Fine oaks and elms were, no doubt, thickly growing 
by the side of the path Irving took, but the only 
avenue, near his course, was the oldest portion of 
the present one, which consists of ancient and beau- 
tiful lime trees. Ed. 

138 NOTES. 

(28) This was the statue of Diana on a pedestal. It was 
removed some few years ago. Ed. 

(29) The great gateway was built from a design by John 
of Padua, and is a magnificent example of an Eliza- 
bethan gatehouse. Ed. 

(30) The position of this lateral portal has been altered 
since Irving's time owing to that end of the house 
having been added to and remodelled in 1833. Ed. 

(31) This is doubtless the one still existing in the present 
little hall, and would, in Irving's day, be near the 
"lateral portal." Ed. 

(32) The illustration given on p. 85 is probably the only 
sketch of the hall, showing the gallery and organ, in 
existence ; it is at least the only one known to the 
editors. Ed. 

(33) The organ has been transferred to the new Church 
of Hampton Lucy, a noble structure, built in the 
purest imitation of the florid style of King Henry VII. 
and forming a noble memorial of the taste and liber- 
ality of the Lucy family, as well as the most imposing 
feature of the rich surrounding landscape. The hall, 
however, has been compensated for its musical loss, 
by the acquisition of the splendid Mosaic table, which 
formerly graced Mr. Beckford's seat at Fonthill, and 
for which, with a few other costly articles of virtu, 
which now decorate this apartment, the present pro- 
prietor paid upwards of ^"2,000. S. 

* */"_, 


NOTES. 141 

Hampton Lucy Church was rebuilt between the years 
1822-26, and in 1858 an apse and porch, from 
designs by Sir Gilbert Scott, were added. Ed. 

(34) The beauty of Charles the Second's time, who gam- 
bled, was "one of the Lucy family" only by marriage. 
She was Katherine Wheatley, wife of Thomas Lucy 
(1678-1684), and after his death married a Duke of 
Northumberland. Moreover, her picture is by Sir 
Godfrey Kneller, not by Sir Peter Lely. Ed. 

(35) The picture alluded to is of the family of the grand- 
son of the " vindictive knight." A very fine 
miniature portrait of this grandson, painted on copper 
by the celebrated Isaac Oliver, also hangs in the hall 
at Charlecote. He is portrayed with a " cane- 
coloured beard." A copy of the portrait is in 
Shakespeare's Birthplace Library. Ed. 

(36) The butler Russell, and the housekeeper 

Vyse, have since united their means in a 

malting establishment in the adjoining parish of 
Wellesbourne, and married. S. 
The butler's name was William Russell and the 
housekeeper's Mary Vyze. They were married by 
licence in Charlecote Church May 8th, 1828. Ed. 




Allen, James 
Arbuthnot, Rev. Geo. 
Baker, I. E. 
Baker, E. E. 
Bird, R. M. 

Birmingham Free Library 
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